The National Energy Customer Framework (NECF) is part of the national energy reform process endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) and progressed by the Ministerial Council on Energy (MCE). To facilitate stakeholder engagement in the NSW transition to the NECF, Industry & Investment NSW released the NSW Implementation of the National Energy Customer Framework Policy Paper for Consultation.
Recognising that the NECF includes key consumer issues such as billing, contracts, and disconnections, PIAC prepared a submission to this process. PIAC acknowledged that, in some instances, the NECF affords consumers the same or better protection than is currently available in NSW. However, PIAC also recognised that there are notable provisions that would, if adopted, undermine existing protections and lead NSW consumers to be worse off than they would be if they remained protected by the existing local framework. PIAC expressed concern that Industry & Investment NSW propose to adopt some of these lesser protections and strongly urged the NSW Government to comply with its public commitment not to erode the integrity of the existing NSW consumer protection framework in the transition to the NECF.